There were very few batting positives to take from Guyana’s laboured victory against the Windwards Islands, but there were some very encouraging bowling performances worthy of mention.
Since the end of the U-19 Cricket World Cup where Ronsford Beaton was touted as the quickest fast bowler in the tournament, I waited with bated breath to see him perform live to determine if the hype around him was justified.
His performance two nights ago fully justified the hype and he must now be the most talked about young quickie in the region.
The first thing to note about Beaton is that he has the requisite physique for a fast bowler, especially his height.
The other observation is that he has a smooth, loose-limbed bowling action which seems to give him extra bounce to go with his pace. His short-pitched bowling to the W/Indies captain, Sammy, had the fast bowling knowledgeables such as Bishop, Ambrose and Fazeer Mohamed purring. Sammy himself acknowledged the pace and bounce of this young pacer.
Bishop further stated that Beaton’s ability to bowl slower deliveries points to good intelligence in his cricketing ability.
So though our cricket has been meandering from poor to average, Beaton surely put life and hope into the future of our regional cricket, especially our pace bowling stocks.
When one looks at the roots of players such as Beaton and another pacer who was also highly touted, Rayon Thomas, but who unfortunately never came good, one can’t help but feel that many hidden gems exist in those forgotten areas such as Essequibo and Linden. It is time our administrators started making every effort to properly develop cricket in these areas.
As Fazeer Mohamed stated in his commentary, two talents bloomed last night; one was spotted – Beaton – while another started to regain his confidence and hype – Bishoo.
The googly that bowled Devon Smith was as classical a delivery as you would see anywhere in international cricket and his bowling throughout this tournament has been improving and his quality as a leg spinner remains unabated. It still mystifies how the powers that be in West Indies cricket have so casually tossed aside such a high quality player who is highly regarded in international cricket circles. One only hopes that his recall is not very far away because our cricket is in desperate need of such game changing players.
All in all the Regional T-20 tournament has been disappointing from a batting perspective, with no new talent shining and some of the international players such as Sarwan, Powell, Deonarine really struggling. In Guyana’s case it seems that Sarwan and Deonarine coming at 3 and 4 have put untold pressure on the batting. It is probably time that both players drop down the order and Barnwell and Johnson bat higher. The bowling has been better served with Beaton, Gabriel, Johnson, Cotterel standing out as pacers of the future, and Bishoo is getting his mojo back.
One only hopes that Beaton’s young career is given the necessary support and I confidently predict that a few years down the line he will be a W/Indies spearhead and will go on to be a great. Likewise Bishoo will rise from the ashes and will go on to live up to his hype.